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Anchor Bay Marks 20 Years in the Business

15 Jun, 2015 By: Stephanie Prange

Anchor Bay Entertainment is celebrating its 20th birthday, and the growth of the company has impressed its executives like proud parents. 

What started out as “essentially a catalog company,” according to president Bill Clark, has blossomed into “the lead independent distributor of new product” on disc.

“We are direct with every single retailer, just like the major studios,” added Julie Cartwright, EVP of worldwide marketing. This makes the company a particularly effective combination: a nimble indie with the retail reach of a major studio.

The company manages numerous distribution deals with various partners:

• Under parent company Starz, Anchor Bay handles physical disc distribution (Blu-ray/DVD) of Starz Original series that the network produces, such as “Power” and “Black Sails.”

• In a deal with The Weinstein Company, originally signed in 2010 and renewed this year until 2020, Anchor Bay manages Blu-ray and DVD distribution for its acclaimed content, which has included Django Unchained and The King’s Speech, among other titles.

• Anchor Bay also handles physical distribution of titles from Radius-TWC, a label owned by The Weinstein Company.

• Anchor Bay has a long-term deal for physical disc distribution of many original programs produced by AMC Networks, including “The Walking Dead” and original productions on The Sundance Channel and IFC.

• The company handles disc distribution for the Ultimate Fighting Championship series.

• A fitness genre stalwart, Anchor Bay handles disc distribution of the top-selling Leslie Sansone brand.

• And just this March, Anchor Bay announced a three-year deal with Gravitas Ventures for physical disc distribution of its titles.

“Anchor Bay Entertainment’s first-rate relationships with retailers, as well as their inventive and customized marketing programs make them an ideal partner for us,” said Nolan Gallagher, CEO and founder of Gravitas Ventures, in signing the March deal.

Radius-TWC execs also praised Anchor Bay’s prowess in retail distribution when they signed a deal in 2012.

“We have found the ideal partner to handle the DVD and Blu-ray distribution of our films,” said Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, Radius-TWC co-presidents. “As exemplified by the stellar job Bill Clark and his team have done with The Weinstein Co. titles, we know we are in the best possible hands.”

Ed Carroll, COO for AMC Networks, called Anchor Bay a “terrific partner” in inking a deal in 2013.

The company’s reputation as a great collaborator has attracted excellent content from top sources, and that quality content is what has kept Anchor Bay sailing smoothly ahead as the home entertainment currents have shifted, encompassing DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital delivery.

“I still think the business is extremely content-driven,” Cartwright said.

“People always want quality content,” Clark added.

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